Earlier this week I was invited to a progressive lunch at Yas Mall, a media event to dine around a few of the restaurants there with samples of their signature dishes to be tasted in each venue, from starters to mains and finishing off with coffee and desserts. I decided to go along since if ever there was an event that Baby Arabian Notes would be suited to come to, it would be this one – with the family and kid friendly facilities they have in the mall I figured I would be in pretty safe surroundings.

It got off to an interesting start. I’d parked, collected everything and lifted all of Baby’s accoutrements out of the car when we set off to the meeting point inside the main entrance. As I was walking along, I thought I saw someone I know with her baby and started smiling and waving wildly at them as I walked. Unfortunately as we got closer, I began to realise that the unsuspecting soul walking towards me wasn’t who I thought it was after all, and in order to redeem myself I began to quickly attempt to explain my actions. Initially this had seemed like a good idea, but with the speed at which the woman accelerated past me, possibly in fear for her own young, it quickly became clear that I should have just pretended to be smiling and waving at someone else behind her. To her, I was simply some kind of crazed and flailing weirdo. Awkward. Although I do like to think that the presence of my own baby makes me look more on the trustworthy than unhinged scale. Though that might well depend on how well Baby has slept the night before!

I’m happy to say that things did improve from there, but the day was not without further incident. We joined the group and everyone filed along to Café Bateel to kick off with some drinks and starters. I’ve got to admit I was pretty nervous in advance of venturing out to this event, and although I’d been told it was fine to bring Baby, I wasn’t sure how his presence would be received in reality. I’d decided prior that my best option for a happy mum and happy baby was to carry him in the baby carrier, and just bring the buggy along in case at some point he should take exception to being carried. No sooner than we had stepped into Café Bateel and finished introductions, Baby Arabian Notes started to become quite unsettled. I could feel myself tensing up – uh oh, maybe this was a really bad idea after all I thought. So I swayed and jiggled us both around the café, trying to get him to settle and not cause a scene, until I suddenly became aware of a vague whiff of poo in the air. UH.OH… problem identified… we’d better go get this sorted out pronto. So off we trotted to the nearest bathroom with baby change facilities and sorted out what it emerged was quite an impressive poopsplosion. Of course, it would have to be, wouldn’t it – these things always happen when you least need them to don’t they?! Despite having to change Baby Arabian Notes completely (thank you to whoever posted that blog post on Facebook about why baby clothes have envelope shoulders! If you are yet to be enlightened you can read it here), thankfully I didn’t end up with poop running down my own clothes as while I had packed a couple of changes for baby, there were none for myself! Phew. *Fist pump*. Winning. I’d managed to get away with it on this occasion, but mental note to self – next time maybe pack a spare top for me too, just in case…

With that all done and Baby much happier (he promptly fell soundly asleep in the comfort of the baby carrier), I was able to make my way back to the event and continue… Here’s the image gallery of what followed:

In short, there was a lot of food, and everything was good, but my particular favourites were as follows:

Café Bateel: Their sparkling date and apple juice was very refreshing, and the signature date smoothie (it has ice cream in it!) was delicious! I’m already a big fan of their food anyway – it’s nice to go somewhere you know you can find a good healthy salad that’s more than just lettuce – they have heaps of healthy options.

Dish Dash: You just can’t go wrong with Arabic food and whilst Baby distracted me from trying much here, word on the street from the locals in the group was that it was very good, and very authentic. The restaurant is also in a really lovely setting at the mall overlooking the fountains at the end of the outdoor promenade and there’s a lovely outdoor area overlooking the fountain for all you shisha lovers.

Giraffe: The Rodeo chicken burger I’m sure will be one that Mr. Arabian Notes will be keen to try – it was certainly a burger and a half! And I also loved the apple, beetroot, carrot ‘ABC’ smoothie and that Wavebreaker coconut and pineapple was a holiday in a glass!

Illy Café: I’m not normally a big fan of tiramisu but this was light and creamy and totally yummy. It was also a bit of a novelty to have the Espresso poured over the top by the waitress too! And that iced coffee was so thick and delicious you really needed a spoon instead of a straw – that was pure coffee decadence in a glass :).

Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café: Well what can you say? It’s a Belgian chocolate café – of course it’s going to be a winner! If you love chocolate (and who doesn’t?!) you’ll want to pay them a visit. Try their signature hot chocolate – you’ll be glad you did.

These are just a few of the many dining options at Yas Mall – if you want to know more, take a look at the Yas Mall website for further information, or even better, just get down there yourself and dive on in. 🙂